Arnold Palmer Cup Format

Match Play Guidelines and Terminology

  • Match play is a game played by holes.
  • Score is kept by the number of holes up (won) and the number of holes to play. (Example: U.S. 2-up, with six holes to play)
  • When a team is up (winning) by more holes than there are holes remaining then the match is closed out and point is awarded.
  • One point is awarded for each match won. If the match is tied or “halved” through 18 holes of play, each team receives one half point. A total of 30 points are awarded in Arnold Palmer Cup competition.
  • If a match is currently tied while in competition, then it is considered “all square.”

Four Ball

Five groups of two-man teams

“Four Ball” play is a match in which each member of the two-man teams plays his own ball. Four balls are in play per hole with each of the four players recording a score on the hole. The team whose player posts the best score on that hole wins the hole. Should players from each team tie for the best score, that hole is halved.


Five groups of two two-man teams

“Foursome” play is a match in which the golfers compete on a team against two other golfers and each side plays one ball. The golfers play alternate shots (player A hits tee shot, player B hits second shot, etc.) until the hole is played out. Team members alternate on the playing of tee shots, with one golfer hitting the tee shot on odd-numbered holes, and the other hitting tee shots from the even-numbered holes. The team with the better score wins the hole. Should the two teams tie for best score, the hole is halved.